The Scale up Generator, run in partnership by Engine Shed and the West of England Growth Hub, provides a window into the activity, community and opportunity that exists for fast-growth, scale up companies in the West of England.
In 2014 the Scale-up Institute ran the inaugural Driving Economic Growth through Scaleup Ecosystems (DEG) programme. This prompted Business West, the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and University of Bristol to collaborate, motivated by a shared vision put forward by Nick Sturge at Engine Shed.
In 2017 this culminated in the creation of a 12-month experiment, a role entitled ‘Scale-up Enabler for the West of England.’ Briony Phillips was appointed and spent her time focused on understanding the challenges faced by scale up companies and nudging, encouraging and cajooling the public and private sector to respond.
- built a single database of nearly 400 organisations that exist to support scale ups which became the scale up support map
- ran a number of Scale up Briefing events to bring the community together to share good practice and network
- created resources and blogs to share the insights that she gathered
- launched a new Quarterly Investment Briefing network (events and newsletters primarily)
To find out more about the first year and the many partners we worked with, please read the Scale Up Yearbook published in July 2018.
Since the completion of this first contract (which delivered much of the content in this website), the Scale up Enabler role has evolved into a partnership between the West of England Growth Hub and Engine Shed.
- To invigorate the investment ecosystem in the region and improve access to finance - we will run the Quarterly Investment Briefing (with support from Smith & Williamson, TLT LLP and KPMG) and build the UKBAA Angel Hub, we will facilitate the Investor In Residence service at Engine Shed.
- To inspire founders and aspiring scale ups - we will share inspiration through a series of Scale up Briefing events and a growing bank of case studies. We will support peer to peer networks.
- To invigorate and build the profile of this region as a home for successful scale-up companies - we will share resources, data and maps to expose the great work that happens here and we will gather and share intelligence to minimise duplication and maximise collaboration. We will make support more accessible.
Wherever we can, we will work in partnership to maximise positive impact for our community of founders. Notably, this website (scaleupgenerator.co.uk) and the brand that it showcases were built in partnership with RocketMakers and Estrella Green.
Achieving sustainable growth is one of the biggest challenges for a scaling company. By creating an environment where companies can flourish, the Scale Up Generator helps accelerate scale up success for the West of England. Scale ups in the region can access resources, content and expertise to help them build a resilient organisation. The wider community, including the investor ecosystem, can discover research, partnership and mentorship opportunities in the local area.
Values and Approach
The diversity and unique combination of funders has influenced the approach and values employed. The fundamental principles are: • Collaborate - We will achieve our common goal more efficiently and effectively when we work together. We partner where we can add most value and see alignment where there are gaps in the ecosystem. • Network weaver - We actively weave connections between supporters and leaders in the Scale-up Ecosystem. We provide information and facilitate connections so that others can act. • Be open – We work openly and encourage others to do the same. Meaningful collaborations are easier to achieve when we work openly. • Honest broker – We call a spade a spade. We expose information and insights to help others make informed decisions. • To sustain > to own – We seed projects and pilot them. We work in partnership to make projects sustainable. We champion others who are better placed to design or deliver a solution.
The approach that the Scale-up Enabler has taken has been one that is not dissimilar to a startup – to research, pilot, test and learn.
For more information, please follow these links:
What's the story behind this website?
All the content housed on the Scale up Generator website was generated by the Scale up Enabler during the initial experimental contract (from June 2017 - June 2018). With many of the blogs and stories hidden in the Engine Shed website, we all agreed that it would be helpful to make the information more accessible through the creation of a new scale up focused site and so the Generator was born.